THE COMPLETE GUIDE OF THINGS TO DO IN HAWAII
The Hawaiian Island chain actually consists of hundreds of minor islands extending northwest into the Pacific. However, there are only eight major islands, as they are the biggest and oldest islands. From youngest to oldest the islands are: Hawai’i Island (a.k.a. The Big Island – the first island of the chain), Maui, Kaho’olawe, Moloka’i, Lana’i, O’ahu (Where we live, has the biggest population of all the islands, and the one we will be focusing on.), Kaua’i, and Ni’ihau.
At the 27th busiest airport in The United States, Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is Hawaii’s major airport serving as the major entry point for most visitors. All major domestic and many international carriers serve Oahu, so you can get here from just about anywhere. There are also direct flights from the continental US to Maui, Kaua’i, and Hawai’i Island.
WHEN TO TRAVEL?
As far as temperature goes, the islands remain at a perfect temperature between 75-85 degrees (23-29 celsius) year round. It rarely reaches above 90 degrees (32 celsius) or below 65 degrees (18 celsius) allowing a consistent flow of tourist throughout the year. However, here are times to be aware when planning to visit.
Winter Season (officially November to April): The time to see the big wave surf competitions and witness the best surfers of the world master these monstrous waves. Billabong Banzai Pipeline, Vans Triple Crown, and The Quiksilver Eddie Aikau Invitational all take place during the ‘big wave winter months’ between October – December on Oahu. JAWS beach on Maui also has massive waves. Some competitions are so insane that the minimum height waves have to be 20 feet (6 meters) before the competition can even start!
Summer Season (officially May – September): The state of Hawaii basically has two seasons but has very little change in daily temperature. In order to really tell the difference of what ‘season’ we are in, we go by the swells. During the summer months, the south of the islands will have more waves; this means along the coast line of Waikiki (Oahu) where many tourists visit. Tip: during these months, head up north where the ocean is much more placid, like Waimea
Hurricane Season: Not saying there will be a Hurricane every single week, more so just a warning. It starts June 1 and ends on November 1. The last Hurricane that hit was 15 years ago, so although unlikely, always check weather patterns before flying out of anywhere.
No matter what season you visit, trade winds keep things comfortable year-round so temperature is no issue. If you want to see one of the most famous waves in the world, winter time is for you. However, we recommend coming in the summertime when there isn’t many rainy days, the ocean is calm (for the most part), and the long days deliver perfect sunsets.
HAWAII ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Contrary to popular belief, Hawaii is like any other continental United States, so you do not need a passport if you are an American. If you are traveling to another country after Hawaii or an international traveler visiting Hawaii then a passport is needed.
Please note the following entry requirements for travel to the United States:
- You must hold a passport valid for at least six months from the date you enter the US. You must be on a short and temporary visit.
- You must agree to leave the US before the expiration of your visa.
- You must hold a valid passport for the intended period of stay.
- You must hold a valid visa issued by the US Embassy or Consulate. You must maintain your identity as a foreigner during your stay.
- You must comply with all requirements on visa issuance.
- For more information, please contact the US Embassy or Consulate in your country.
WHERE TO STAY?
On Oahu, the major spot to stay is in Waikiki. This is where most attractions and many services are readily available along the lines of entertainment and necessities. Hotels can range from $150 to $1,000 a night depending on location. If you prefer the more “country” stay, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, then resorts out in Ko’olina would be perfect for you like the Hilton.
WHERE TO GO? MUST SEE TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Oahu offers countless tourist attractions and activities; from beaches and sightseeing to historic grounds of World War II and ancient Hawaiian war zones. Here are a few activities that are reasonable/free and well worth every minute:
- North Shore – Waimea Beach and Sunset Beach are our favorites.
- Lanikai Beach
- Ko’olina – man-made lagoons with white sand beaches; great for families.
- Lanikai Pillboxes Trail – our favorite hike. Great for families!
- Diamond Head – hike up one of Hawaii’s most iconic landmark!
- Koko Head – for the advanced hiker looking for that perfect burn!
- Makapuu Lighthouse Trail
- Pearl Harbor & USS Arizona Memorial Tour
- Kualoa Ranch Activities & Tours
- Luau – Paradise Cove and Germaine’s Luau
- Skydiving – if you’re a thrill seeker like us, skydiving in Hawaii is a must!
- Snorkeling – Hanauma Bay and Shark’s Cove.
WHERE TO PARTY?
Of all the islands in the State of Hawaii, Oahu is known for its city life. There are a few places in Honolulu where you can find the best places for a good night out and great tasting drinks. Listed below are top 5 spots to go to:
- Sky Waikiki
- The M
- District Nightclub
- Mai Tai Bar
HOW MUCH SHOULD YOUR DAILY BUDGET BE IN HAWAII?
Let’s be real, paradise is expensive.
- Food average $10 to $15 per meal. Per person, I would say about $50/day on food alone.
- Tours/Activities: $70 to $120
*This isn’t including shopping, transportation services, and accommodation.
Best tip to save money is to stay with friends or family.